Seafood Tips



 Fresh seafood has a minimum shelf life of 2 – 5 days in the fridge… 

The most important advice is to buy your seafood from a reputable retailer… Conway Fish Trading of course!!!

 Smell – Seafood generally should have a fragrant clean “smell of the sea” aroma. Spoilt seafood has an almost fruity odour and some species an ammonia smell. Throw away anything that has a pungent, unnatural odour.

 Appearance – Seafood in general should be visually in good condition (without any physical damage or bruising) and have that “just caught look”. The flesh should look moist and firm and should have a natural colour ad some seafood have a natural protective slime. This protective slime should be clear and not opaque or white.

 The “EYES” are the window of the soul…

Best tip we can give you when checking the freshness of seafood is to check the eyes and gills. The eyes should be clear and plump (not sunken or discoloured). They should look elastic and firm. The gills should be red in colour, the scales intact, firm and shiny. Some line caught fish however are brought to the surface too quickly and thus cause the eyes to “pop”. This is a natural occurrence and doesn’t effect the quality of the fish.


Prawns are sold either uncooked (green) or ready to eat (cooked). They are either intact (whole with shell) cutlets (with tail, no shell) or shrimps (just prawn flesh).

The cooked prawns will vary in colour from light pinkish to dark, orange – red (farmed prawns also vary in colour as they have a naturally lighter colour).

 Green prawns are mostly sold frozen (they are frozen on board the trawler to keep their freshness intact). To revive and thaw out your green prawns, we recommend running them under cold, tap water or alternatively filling up the sink with cold water and soaking the prawns for about minutes. Just keep refreshing the water every 5 minutes.

 How to peel a prawn?

 Hold the body firmly just behind the head then twist off the head. Pull back the legs removing the center section of the shell in the same motion. Squeeze the tail segment and gently pull out the flesh. Gently, using your fingertips, pry the shell off the main body of the prawn. Remember to slit the spine in the middle removing the black thread  (digestive tract or vein).

 As a general guide, 1kg of prawns in the shell provides about 20-24 medium to large prawns, which yields about 500g of peeled prawn meat.

 How to store … Prawns

 Once you return home, unwrap your prawns and place them in a glass container and throw a damp tea towel over them. It’s important to drain as much of the excess water as possible. Store in the coldest part of the fridge. Alternatively, you can purchase special containers that come intact with grate. This has the effect of elevating the seafood off the excess water.

 Remember …Once thawed, frozen prawns cannot be refrozen!! HOWEVER!! Conway prawns that are cooked in store can be refrozen. Just ask if the prawns are freshly cooked. The prawns can be kept frozen for nearly 3 months in the freezer with temperature below -18 degrees.

 King prawns

What are they?

Generally larger than tiger prawns, king prawns are Australia’s most popular prawns. They have moist, medium-firm flesh and a rich flavour. Their tail ends are bright blue when raw.

When to eat them:

Available all year round, king prawns are at their best from late summer to early winter.

How to use them:

  • Leave king prawns whole in dishes, rather than chopping them, to make the most of their attractive appearance.
  • Serve whole king prawns cold with a delicious dipping sauce or in a seafood salad.

Tiger prawns

What are they?

Large and flavoursome, tiger prawns have moist, firm flesh and a medium flavour. They have distinctive grey, blue or black stripes that turn red when cooked.

When to eat them:

Tiger prawns are available all year round. They’re at their best from late summer to mid-autumn.

How to use them:

  • Serve tiger prawns whole with mayonnaise or aïoli to show off their dramatic colour.
  • Add to soups – their firm flesh holds together well.
  • Cook on the barbecue or use to make garlic prawns.

  Banana prawns

What are they?

These are medium-sized prawns with a sweet, mild flavour. There are two varieties: regular banana prawns have red legs, and white banana prawns have cream and yellow legs.

When to eat them:

Banana prawns are available all year round. They’re at their best in mid-autumn.

How to use them:

  • Chop banana prawns and use to make prawn cakes or terrines.
  • Use in Asian dishes – the sweetness of their flesh goes well with spicy flavours.

School prawns

What are they?

Because of their short shelf life, these tiny prawns are almost always sold cooked. They’re moist and very sweet.

When to eat them:

These are available all year round, but are at their peak from late spring to early autumn.

How to use them:

  • Add peeled cooked school prawns to fried rice.
  • Use them to make a classic prawn cocktail.


Crystal Bay Prawns

What are they?

Prawns farmed off the pristine waters off Cardwell QLD are light delicate prawns ideal in salads and rice or eaten whole!

When to eat them:

Because they are farmed, they available all year round.

How to use them:

A versatile, all-rounder Crystal Bay Prawns can be use in salads, stir fries, BBQ’s or eaten whole! Conway Fish is proud to be associated with this Australian Company.

  How to store ...Oysters

 Conway’s nearly always supplies Tasmanian Pacific oysters. Oysters invariable have the beautiful aromatic sea smell. Oyster meat has a glistening, moist look. Discard any oysters that look dry.

 Ernest Hemmingway said it best..

 “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I dank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”

 How to clean …? Sand crab or mud crab

 Twist out the large nippers and crack out the pincer end of the claw with the back end of a heavy knife. Remove the back shell by lifting the under flap and peeling back the top shell.

Under cold running water, clean away the gills and viscera. Cut the body in half and then cut between the legs to the centre – to expose the flesh.

 How to cook … Crayfish

 To euthanize the crayfish, place it in the freezer for a minimum of 30 – 50 minutes. Bring a pot to boil with lightly salted water and gently place the crayfish n the pot. Cook until the crayfish turns a lovely vibrant, red colour generally about 10 minutes. Let it cool, serve slightly chilled with a good bottle of wine. Bon appetite.


 Far a larger part, Australian seafood is sustainable as it is subjected to restrictive and highly scrutinised quota limits. From the manager of the Sydney Fish Market.. Bryan Skeeper

“Australian fisheries are regarded internationally as being amongst the best managed in the world. Our fisheries management system that's in place has rigorous scientific underpinning to it, and internationally we're regarded as being amongst the top four in the world as to our fisheries management programs.”


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